Govt prepares to scrap ‘Brexit bonus’ for farmers | Agriculture

The government will cancel the ‘Brexit Bonus’ that it would have received Paid for farmers and landowners to promote natureIn what wildlife groups call a “mass attack” on the environment, observer can reveal.

Instead, Defra sources revealed, they are considering paying landowners a set annual amount for each acre of land they own, which would be similar to the EU’s very poor basic payments system for the agricultural subscriber. Policies.

The Environmental Land Management Scheme (Elms), devised by former Environment Secretary Michael Gove, was created to encourage farmers to create space for rare species including wading birds and dormice, as well as carbon sequestration to help England reach its net-zero target. Experimental schemes have created rare habitats and brought back species including nightingales, beavers, and white storks.

Now, tell the landowners and land managers who were part of the Elms observer that meetings with the government regarding their lands were removed from the memorandums with the scheme paused.

Defra sources confirmed that Elms’ procedures are under review and that district-based payment is on the table.

This was a “complete betrayal of something they said would be one of the main benefits of Brexit,” said Daniel Zeichner, the Labor MP for Cambridge and shadow agriculture minister. Many farmers have changed how they use their land due to the upcoming Elms requirements.

He added, “Any reversal of the plan would lead to a major disruption in this sector.” We agreed with the general trend for that, although we thought the government was moving too fast.

“This is a complete step back from their promises, and tearing them up without any consultation would be nothing less than reckless sabotage.”

Prominent Governor Ben Goldsmith, a former member of Defra’s board, said he was disgusted with the plans. He commented, “There are rumors that the government is considering reviving an old subsidy program under which landowners across the country are paid for every acre of land they own, no matter how much they care about it. In 2022 — certainly not.”

A system governed by principle Public money (only) for public environmental benefit It is a much better idea than unconditional subsidies for landowners. Let’s hope the government sticks to the track.”

Wildlife groups are set to rebel on the move. Craig Bennett, CEO of wild animals The 860,000-member funds said: “They don’t have a Democratic mandate to do that, it was in the election manifesto. What I saw in space last week is that the Liz Truss government is basically scrapping all of the environmental commitments that were in the 2019 manifesto.

“If this government now goes back to area-based payments, it will have gotten rid of the silver lining around Brexit that might have been good for the environment. There seems to be a blanket attack on the environment under the Liz Truss government.”

“I can’t believe that a government committed to ‘the most ambitious environmental program in any country on earth’ would do anything reckless with taxpayer money. It would make the budget look like a model of prudence and prudence,” said Sean Spires, Executive Director of the Green Alliance.

A view of the lake at Knepp Estate Wildland in West Sussex, England.
A view of the lake at Knepp Estate Wildland in West Sussex, England. Photography: Jillian Bollinger/Alamy

Isabella Tree, who manages the Knepp estate in Sussex, was supposed to run one of the government’s major plans to restore the landscape. Her region is a leader in nature-friendly agriculture and a recipient of nature restoration funding, and she has authored the world’s best rebuilding guide, wilding.

She said: “Elms has spent four years thinking deeply about the future, thousands of people from all sectors spending millions of hours, on how we can reform land management so that we don’t destroy the systems we depend on, so we have agronomists, a land base and natural resources that will support us for generations. coming.

For once there was a long-term vision from the government. And the belief that all this effort, all that time, dedication, and deep understanding is only getting rid of the faith of the beggars..”

The National Farmers’ Union was resisting plans to pay farmers for nature’s schemes rather than food production.

Minette Butters, president of the NFU, welcomed the exit from Elms. “My absolute priority is to ensure that farmers can continue to produce the nation’s food – so I am in favor of maintaining direct payments in order to build a scheme that truly achieves food production and the environment,” she said.

A spokesperson for Defra did not deny that the change had occurred, and said:

“To enhance the rural economy, food production and our food security, we will continue to support farmers and land managers by reviewing agricultural regulations, and promoting investment and innovation in the sector.”

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